Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was found guilty of murdering George Floyd, has finally been sentenced.
His most serious conviction is second-degree murder, which carries a maximum prison sentence of forty years in Minnesota. The other charges include third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, which carry maximum penalties of twenty-five years and 10 years in prison.
Chauvin showed no emotion as the verdict was read by the judge, nodding towards him as his bail was revoked. He was handcuffed and led swiftly out of the courtroom.
He's remained in police custody until now, after finally being sentenced.
The jury came to the unanimous decision after hearing a wide range of testimony from witnesses presented by both the defense and prosecution during the 3-week trial, but only needed roughly 10 hours of deliberation to reach a verdict for the case.
He did have the option to tell the jury his side of the story, but Chauvin declined to testify after invoking the 5th Amendment in court in Minneapolis - meaning he has the privilege to refuse to answer any questions or make any statements that may establish a case against him.
The sentencing comes about as a result of events that occurred on May 25th, 2020 when Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for more than 9 minutes while detaining him face-first against the pavement. This violence was caused by Floyd using a counterfeit $20 bill.
Floyd had pleaded for air and told officers that he couldn't breathe twenty-seven times as 3 officers held him down until he lost consciousness and didn't have a pulse. They eventually removed themselves minutes later once paramedics arrived and lifted Floyd's lifeless body onto a stretcher.
Floyd's death triggered the Black Lives Matter movement and a mass wave of protests were held worldwide demanding equality for Black people who are continuously mistreated and killed by those working in law enforcement.
One of Floyd's brothers spoke out to MSNBC while holding emotion in his eyes back in April.
"I mean, I'm feeling tears of joy, so emotional that no family in history ever got this far. You know, to get a guilty charge on all accounts, we got a chance to go to trial and he took it all away. So this right here is for everyone that's been in this situation, everybody. Everybody. We are here. We stand in a unit."
Another of Floyd's brothers, Philonise, said, "I feel relieved today I finally have the opportunity for hopefully getting some sleep. Today we are able to breathe again."
Continuing, he said, "Today you have the cameras all around the world to see and show what happened to my brother. The world saw his life being extinguished and I could do nothing but watch, especially in that courtroom, over and over again as my brother was murdered."
He added: "I'm not just fighting for George anymore, I'm fighting for everyone."
And finally, after an extremely tragic and painful grieving period for George Floyd's family and everyone fighting for George Floyd and other people who have wrongfully lost their lives around the world, a sentence has been assigned to Derek Chauvin of twenty two and a half years in prison.
Rest in Peace, George Floyd.